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Date:11/22/2014 1:21:06 PM
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Aye! Good Day to Ye Lads & Lassies!
Have ye been wondering about this rogue? What did he look like? Was he just playin' a part? Was he really a murderer? I will give ye yer answers as soon as we all take a perch...arrrrghh, it goes like this....

General descriptions of Jean Lafitte never came closer than from a little lad who has written about meeting him when he & his father went to acquire some slaves to help with their crops. He wrote, ""I have just seen the notorious Captain Lafitte. He is tall, with pale skin, and he has large black eyes. He is clean shaven except for a beard extending part-way down his cheeks." There were other descriptions, of course, that he was "remarkably handsome" with Gallic features & possessed a "brilliancy of teeth". Says author Jack C. Ramsay, Jr., "When he walked the streets of the city, he exhibited an aire of gentlemanly self-confidence."

It was his temper that could turn on a dime when continually pushed, in which he went into panther mode! Rather frightening from someone who was viewed, at most times, a kindly serene man. It was often talked about that when a small boisterous & loud armed group of Baratarians gathered outside his home talking of mutiny, Lafitte appeared on his porch & with a pistol shot the leader dead at point blank range. So much for the mutiny.

But, this need for violence to maintain order was rare. To lead, he depended on & honed his innate flexibility. He knew how to adjust to the moment to be the gentleman, the rascal, the radical, entrepreneur, the patron of the arts, the lover or the pirate to fit the situation at hand.

His chivalry is what endeared him to the people. A testament from a family named Martin who had been caught by a sudden storm in the Gulf were hangin' on by a thread in their tattered rowboat. It was a vessel manned by Lafitte himself that came to their rescue. Mrs. Martin's diary reads: "Lafitte the Pirate...treated us with all kindness possible (providing us with) a bountiful breakfast (and) even supplying a hat for my husband who had lost his own." Even to his own Baratarians he was mostly a generous benefactor. Once after he & his lieutenants divvied up their treasure evenly, two gold coins remained on Lafitte's desk unclaimed. He turned to the wife of Louis Chighizola & motioned, "Those are for you." But, her husband's quick hands claimed them. "I'll hold them for her," Chighizola said. Lafitte's eyes darkened as he rose from his chair & shot a hand forward, palm up. "Louis," he replied, "Give them to me." His subordinate knew better than to argue. Lafitte then turned to his blacksmith, Thiac. "From these coins, create a thimble of gold and give it the misses." That thimble still exists in the Chighizola family that has remained in Barataria.
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